Lessons for Today from the 1981 Saudi Arms Deal

Nov. 13 2018

In October 1981, President Ronald Reagan announced he was going through with an agreement, initially negotiated during the Carter administration, to sell Saudi Arabia billions of dollars’ worth of sophisticated weaponry, including five Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS): airplanes whose advanced radar could detect otherwise undetectable incoming aircraft. Israeli officials, Prime Minister Menachem Begin included, were concerned that these systems would give Riyadh a technological edge over the IDF. Accordingly, the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) embarked on one of its most ambitious lobbying efforts ever to convince Congress not to approve the deal. Arnon Gutfeld offers a detailed history of the ensuing dispute and explains its relevance in light of the more recent controversy concerning Benjamin Netanyahu’s public opposition to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran:

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: AIPAC, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran nuclear program, Menachem Begin, Ronald Reagan, Saudi Arabia, US-Israel relations

Despite Reasons for Worry, Jews Shouldn’t Lose Faith in the American Promise

Sept. 24 2021

From synagogue shootings, to attacks on Jews on the streets, to the gathering strength and viciousness of anti-Zionism, especially in the corridors of political power, American Jewry has ample reason for concern about its safety and wellbeing. But, surveying both the present situation and the deep roots of what has made America a welcoming home to Jews with “no analogue in the 2,000 years after the destruction of the Temple,” Josef Joffe argues that the U.S. remains exceptional. The bad news, however, is still bad:

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Read more at Commentary

More about: American exceptionalism, American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Chuck Schumer